Rabu, 15 November 2017

TOMINI BAY SUPPORTS TOURISM IN THREE PROVINCES

By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Nov 15 (Antara) - The Tomini Bay in the eastern region of Indonesia is the largest gulf in the country, which has the potential to provide benefit for the development of the tourism sector in three neighboring provinces.
         The three provinces should therefore work hand in hand to develop the Indonesian eastern region's largest gulf in order to  attract local and international tourists and help improve the local people's economy.
         Vice Governor of Gorontalo Province, Idris Rahim, called for cooperation among the three provinces of Gorontalo, North Sulawesi, and Central Sulawesi to develop marine tourism in the Tomini Bay area.
         "The three provinces must be in synergy. We must create an integrated tourism calendar, and this should be jointly pursued by the relevant agencies to boost the tourism sector," Rahim stated at a discussion forum of marine tourism development in Tomini Bay by the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of National Development Planning/National Development Planning Agency (PPN/Bappenas) on Tuesday (Nov 14).

Selasa, 14 November 2017

RI ASKS FOR ASEAN'S COMMITMENT ON WORKERS PROTECTION

By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Nov 14 (Antara) - Indonesia and the Philippines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are two largest migrant worker exporters which have been fighting for strong commitment to migrant worker protection.
         Hence, during the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila, the Philippines, Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) encouraged members of the regional association to increase the protection of migrant workers in Southeast Asia.
         At the ASEAN Summit, which is part of the series of activities to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the ASEAN, Jokowi and other ASEAN leaders will sign the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of Migrant Workers' Rights.
         The ASEAN Consensus Document will be a concrete form of comprehensive protection for migrant workers as mandated by the 1945 Constitution of Indonesia.
         Therefore, Indonesia called for a strong commitment by ASEAN member countries to protect and promote the rights of migrant workers in the 31st ASEAN Summit held in Manila, Philippines, 12-14 November 2017.
         "It should not be a consensus only. Indonesia encourages all ASEAN member countries to properly guard and have the same commitment in implementing the action plan regarding the protection of migrant workers and their families, both legal migrants and migrants who have no proper documents," said Minister of Manpower M Hanif Dhakiri in press release in Jakarta on Monday.

Senin, 13 November 2017

RI, JAPAN CONCRETIZE PROJECTS AHEAD OF TIES ANNIVERSARY

By Andi Abdussalam
         Jakarta, Nov 13 (Antara) - Indonesia and Japan are concretizing cooperation on several strategic infrastructure project such as seaport, mass rapid transit (MRT) and railways in the runup to celebrating the 60th anniversary of their relations next year.
          The cooperation was among others reinforced during a bilateral meeting between President Joko Widodo and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the ASEAN Summit in Manila, Philippines, on Sunday.
         On the occasion President Jokowi expressed wish for significant progress in the infrastructure cooperation ahead of the anniversary.  "This will be a monumental gift for the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries," he said.
         On investment cooperation President Jokowi expressed appreciation to increased Japanese investment in the country, adding that "it almost reached 90 percent in 2016."
     Foreign Minister Retno said that the bilateral meeting between the President and the Prime Minister of Japan is an important meeting because they discussed the plan to commemorate 60 years of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Japan in 2018.


Kamis, 09 November 2017

PAPUA'S ECONOMY SLOWING DOWN

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Nov 9 (Antara) - The economy of Indonesia's easternmost province of Papua is slowing down, although it has been flourishing in recent years under the administration of President Joko Wododo (Jokowi).
         In 2015, for example, Papua saw an economic growth of 7.47 percent. It shot up last year to 9.21 percent, almost double the national average figure of 4.95 percent.
         The high economic growth was because of the government's attention towards the development of Papua's infrastructure, improvement of its welfare and health facilities, as well as the launch of the single-fuel price program. Papua is one of Jokowi's top priorities.
         He has many plans to make sure that the rapid growth in Papua keeps going, such as single-fuel price, Trans Papua Road, Sea Toll, Sorong Special Economic Zone, and others. He hopes to bring positive changes in Papua, even if at a slower pace.
         "We can see that there is a decrease in poverty rates in Papua Province," Papua Governor Lukas Enembe was quoted by papuanews.org as saying last year.
         However, the decline in the food crop production and public expenditure, as well as the prolonged contractual dispute between the government and PT Preeport Indonesia, which prompted the giant miner to temporarily suspend production, has resulted in slow economic growth in Papua.
         The subsidiary of the US-based Freeport McMoRan has been in a dispute with the government, following the issuance of new regulations that oblige the company to convert its contract of work into a special mining license, divest 51 percent of its shares, and build a new smelter.

Rabu, 08 November 2017

TASK FORCES TO BE SET UP TO ACCELERATE EASE OF DOING BUSINESS

 by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Nov 8 (Antara) - Indonesia, which has been able to improve its 'ease of doing business' index from 91 to 72, will establish task forces for 'ease of doing business' in order to further improve its business climate.
        The government is now preparing a guideline for the establishment of the task forces for the acceleration of the ease of doing business in Indonesia. The task forces will be established as a follow up to the Presidential Regulation No. 91/2017 on the Ease of Doing Business.
        The task forces, which are expected to help ease the licensing process, will consist of a national task force, a leading sector task force, and a supporting task force.
         "Several ministries and agencies are working together to form the National Task Force," Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution remarked in Jakarta on Friday (Nov 3).
         He explained that the National Task Force will be the main body, which is directly under the president, and will oversee two major institutions, namely the Leading Sector Task Force and the Supporting Task Force.
         The minister revealed that the Leading Sector Task Force will supervise the investment licensing process, undertake debottlenecking issues, and report regularly to the National Task Force.

SINGLE-FUEL PRICE PROGRAM LIKELY TO FALL BEHIND TARGET

 By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, Nov 8 (Antara) - The government has launched a single-fuel price program in certain areas across the country since January this year, as part of its efforts to provide fuels at equal prices for consumers.
         For this year, the government has set a target to establish single-price fuel suppliers in 54 regions. But until Nov 4, the number of single-price fuel distributors that has been established was only 50 percent, or 27 suppliers.
         Thus, the government has to establish 27 others in less than two months in order to meet its target of setting up 54 distributors in 2017. 
    The government has set a target to build 150 single-price fuel suppliers in 150 regions across the country by 2019. Of the target, some 54 suppliers will be in 2017, 50 in 2018, and 46 in 2019.

         However, this year, it seems unlikely for the government to be able to meet its target of setting up single-price fuel suppliers in 54 areas. The main problem faced is obtaining a license for the program in the specific location.
         "Principle license is really needed, but in certain areas, consensus is yet to be reached. Yet, everything is already in the process," Muhammad Ibnu Fajar of the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulator (BPH Migas) of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) stated in Jakarta on Friday (Nov 3).  

Sabtu, 04 November 2017

TRILLIONS OF FUNDS TO FLOW INTO VILLAGERS' POCKETS

By Andi Abdussalam
         Jakarta, Nov 4 (Antara) - The government has since 2015 allocated a total of Rp127.64 trillion in village funds to develop infrastructure and other facilities in villages.
        However, in 2018, the government will change its policy by not only focusing on the allocation of the funds for infrastructure development but also on boosting labor-intensive development in villages.
        Thus, there is a big chance for villagers to become the beneficiaries of the funds through the development of labor-intensive projects. Projects are expected to be done by villagers through a self-managed system and not by contractors as they used to be.
         Based on President Joko Widodo (Jokowi's) labor-intensive program in villages, at least 30 percent of the village funds should be designed as payment for workers in labor-intensive projects.
         The government in 2018 will allocate 60 trillion as village funds. If 30 percent of the funds are designed for villagers involved in the labor-intensive program, villagers will be able to pocket Rp18 trillion.
         Data based on the program indicates that there are 74,910 villages which will receive the funds. In average, each village will receive Rp800 million, of which 30 percent or Rp240 million will be allocated for villagers who are worker.